This is the fullest account to date of American poetry and literary criticism in the Modernist period. Andrew Dubois and Frank Lentricchia examine the work of Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Wallace Stevens. They show how the conditions of literary production in a democratic, market-driven society forced the boldest of the Modernists to try to reconcile their need for commercial remuneration with their knowledge that their commitment to high art might never pay. Irene Ramalho Santos broadens the scope of the poetic scene through attention to a wide diversity of writers - with special emphasis on writers including Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, and Langston Hughes. William Cain traces both the rise of an internationalist academic aesthetics and the process by which the study of a distinctive national literature was instituted. Considered together, these three narratives convey the astonishing Modernist poetic achievement in its full cultural, institutional, and aesthetic complexity.
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Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. Modernist Lyric in the Culture of Capital Andrew Dubois and Frank Lentricchia: 1. Anthologies and audience, genteel to modern; 2. Robert Frost; 3. Wallace Stevens; 4. T. S. Eliot; 5. Ezra Pound; Epilogue; Part II. Poetry in the Machine Age Irene Ramalho Santos: 1. Gertrude Stein: the poet as master of repetition; 2. William Carlos Williams: in search of a western dialect; 3. H. D.: a poet between worlds; 4. Marianne Moore: a voracity of contemplation; 5. Hart Crane: tortured with history; 6. Langston Hughes: the color of modernism; Part III. Literary Criticism William Cain: Preface; 1. Inventing American literature; 2. Intellectuals, cultural critics, men and women of letters; 3. Southerners, agrarians, and New Critics: the institutions of a modern criticism.
'... this is, without doubt and without any serious rival, the scholarly history for our generation.' Journal of American Studies '... vast and eminently readable survey of twentieth century American literature ...'. Use of English
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